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Taking The Reins

Taking The ReinsTufts grad named CEO of $18 billion global health company. New York.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [05.02.01] Built over a 114-year span, Bristol-Myers Squibb has developed and sold everything from migraine medication to herbal shampoos to cancer-fighting drugs, becoming one of the biggest global health companies in the world. Today, a 1978 Tufts graduate became the youngest person ever to serve as CEO of the $18 billion company.

This morning, Peter Dolan officially succeeded Charlie Heimbold as the newest CEO of Bristol-Myers Squibb. According to the Financial Times, "Dolan, at 45, believes he [is now] the youngest chief executive of all the large drug companies."

The change completes Dolan's rise to the top of the global health company. Since 1988 he has held several executive positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, including company president -- a position he will continue to hold while also serving as chief executive.

"While today's pharmaceutical and health care marketplace continues to evolve, we must enhance human life," Dolan said. "I will be working with my thousands of colleagues around the world to accelerate our growth and to make a difference in the lives of people everywhere."

A 13-year veteran of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dolan is charged with strengthening the company's position nationally and internationally. The Financial Times reports that Dolan will oversee expansion in Europe and Asia, as well as the sale of the cosmetics division of the company.

"This new plan is intended to challenge the company over the next five years to again double sales earnings and earnings per share," the Tufts alum and overseer told the New York Daily News.

While Dolan is looking towards the future, the company's foundation is quite strong.

This year, Fortune Magazine ranked Bristol-Myers Squibb "America's Most Admired Pharmaceutical Company." In the same issue, Fortune also ranked the company as the 11th most socially responsible company in the country, beating out over a thousand other nominees for the honor.

According to the Financial Times, Dolan needs to boost drug development to keep the company competitive as the pharmaceutical industry grows more crowded.

"Wall Street will have to be patient, perhaps emboldened by the knowledge that Mr. Dolan, a marathon runner and distance cycling enthusiast, knows all about the long game," the London paper reported.

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